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Sunday, January 21, 2018
HomeHealthCeteraStrategies for repair and self care: Thinking olympian with Mary Andrews

Strategies for repair and self care: Thinking olympian with Mary Andrews

The Academy Health National Health Policy Conference in Washington DC brought together experts in science, health, media, and policy to navigate the current political climate and to discuss the future of American health care. Evidence was presented, knowledge was disseminated, and yet uncertainty prevails. As the Trump Administration continues to foster this VUCA policy environment, the promise to #MakeAmericaGreat has eroded to #MakeAmericaAnxious.


Turbulent minds lead to turbulent times. Article 25(1) of the Constitution of the World Health Organization states that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic, or social condition.” The moral compass is spinning, especially surrounding health care. Variant proportions of values, law, and evidence will shape the future of health care reform and Americans are anxiously awaiting the impending declarations that will greatly impact the health, education, equity, and diversity of our country. Gutting the ACA and block granting medicaid remain high on the conservative agenda.  The ramifications of these reforms are likely to result in adverse health outcomes for vulnerable populations including children, the elderly, the disabled, and women.


In a recent interview with Diana Mason on Healthcetera Radio, we discuss how anxiety and fear have manifested in the lives of the children and families that I care for in my practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner in San Diego. Additionally, we explored strategies to #RiseAbove this over-looming cloud of ambiguity. I was delighted to hear from Healthcetera listener and activist, Barbara Backer, who inspired further investigation to seek local solutions and promote positive interventions.


At a recent workshop for the San Diego Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Olympian and Certified Life Coach Mary Andrews suggests that thinking like an Olympian can help lead individuals through fear and ambiguity. Andrews is no stranger to complex, volatile, and high stress environments. She represented the United States in the javelin throw for the 1980 Olympic Games. Her unique lived experiences as an elite athlete, a life coach, and her passion for empowering others has forged the path for her to inspire greatness. Andrews offers important insight about how Olympians address fear and uncertainty: “Fear is informative and it’s sometimes necessary to come to grips with it. Olympians always play big and they plan for the worst-case scenario. They give time to the fear, then plan and prepare for it. Let it inform, don’t deny it, and always remain in constant action for what you want.” Andrews’ advice rings true for all who may be struggling with the current political climate or life in general.


For more insight, tune into Andrews’ upcoming interview on Healthcetera radio. Senior Fellow Kristi Westphaln and Mary Andrews discuss how to think like an Olympian, play big in the game of life, and how to shift your thoughts from fear and doubt into strategies for self-care and repair. Andrews urges leadership, strategy for success, and she knows her game!


Tune in to HealthCetera on Thursday, March 30 at 1:00 PM at 99.5 FM streamed live at or listen to the interview here on our iTunes channel

Written by

Kristi Westphaln, MSN, RN, PNP-PC, is a San Diego-based pediatric nurse practitioner with a passion for all things pediatric. She has been in the nursing profession for 15 years, with 11 years of PNP expertise in the areas of pediatric primary care, pediatric emergency health care, pediatric trauma and child abuse. Ms. Westphaln will be producing for the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement a series of elementary school-based health education podcasts and will continue her work in radio with “HealthCetera.” She currently serves as the legislative/health policy chair for the San Diego chapters of the National Association of Pediatric Nurses (NAPNAP) and the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, and she was recently honored as a 2017 National NAPNAP Advocacy Scholar. She anticipates completing her PhD in nursing from the University of San Diego in May 2018 and aspires to pursue post-doctoral education in the pediatric health policy research arena. Her research interests include child health promotion, social capital, health care access and use, home visitation and health disparities/social justice.

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